Dogs are some of the most loyal creatures on earth. That is why they make such wonderful therapy and service animals. Most of the time we think of a dog’s loyalty, however, it is in reference to a person. But what about dog’s loyalty to one another?
Well, last week on Vashon Island, a basset hound named Phoebe wound up getting stuck inside an old concrete cistern out in the woods for a week. Thankfully, she was not alone. Her friend Tillie, an irish setter, was by her side the entire time.
Remaining on the outside of the cistern, Tillie could have run home at any time, but elected to stay near her trapped pal and help her weather the storm. The only time she left her friend’s side was when she ran onto a neighboring property, attempting to get the attention of anybody that could help. The people reported seeing a “reddish” dog repeatedly run up to them, then back off into the woods.
Rather than follow the strange dog into the woods, they called the Vashon Island Pet Protectors (VIPP), who then came over and investigated the area where the “reddish” dog was spotted. Suspecting that the dog was the same Tillie reported missing, they called out to her. Thankfully, she responded.
Following the sound of her bark, the search team came upon the old cistern, with Tillie resting her head against the concrete wall. The team knew that Tillie was just part one of a two-part missing dog report, and quickly became worried that this poor dog was simply marking Phoebe’s final resting place.
And then they looked in. And a sigh of relief came over the group. Both dogs were fine. Hungry, but fine.
What makes this story truly special is the fact that Tillie took it upon herself to make sure her pal Phoebe was not left alone. She also knew that, as a survival tactic, trapped animals tend to make themselves as difficult to notice as possible. This means Phoebe wouldn’t be making any noise, so if she was to be found, it was on Tillie to get someone’s attention. What a smart dog!
Moreover, this story should serve as a lesson to anyone who has a missing pet – don’t give up hope! Most of the time, the lost pet is stuck somewhere they cannot get out of and needs someone to keep looking for them.